UNLAWFULLY CASHED CHEQUES: A hard-up woman who unlawfully cashed cheques belonging to the company for whom she worked appeared before Wirral Magistrates.

Clare Houghton,35, of Rice Hey Road, Wallasey, but who was living in Palatine Road, Wallasey, at the time of the offences pleaded guilty to two charges of committing fraud by making out cheques belonging to Digital Europe to make gains totalling £2,223 last October.

The money was obtained from Cash Converters at Wallasey and Birkenhead.

She said when questioned she knew she would get caught.

Chris Williams, defending, said she got into substantial debt in the region of £7,000 and the offences were committed out of desperation. She was ashamed of her behaviour.

She had lost her job and was now living with a friend because she could not afford to pay for her own accommodation.

Magistrates told Houghton she had flirted with custody but they had agreed to impose a high-level community penalty instead.

They bailed her for a probation report.


TOOK FATHER'S VAN: A teenager who went for a spin in his father’s van which he did not have permission to drive had been egged-on by a friend, defence solicitor Chris Williams told Wirral Magistrates.

Craig Edward Stokes,18, of Palermo Close, Wallasey, admitted using the van without insurance and when not covered by a licence.

Prosecutor Amanda Cullen said police had cautioned Stokes regarding the unauthorised taking.

Mr Williams said Stokes knew he had been very stupid. He had let his father down.

He was fined £150 plus £100 costs and had six penalty motoring points listed against him.


WOUNDING CHARGE: Sean Howard Sumner, 25, of Market Street, Birkenhead, was sent to the Crown Court by Wirral Magistrates.

He is charged with unlawful and malicious wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm at Danger Lane, Moreton, in December.

The case is only triable at the higher court. Sumner was conditionally bailed to appear at Liverpool on March 11.


DRUNK AND DISORDERLY: Failure to heed a police warning to behave proved costly for a young Tranmere man.

Michael Sean Totty, 22, of Westbank Road, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly at Paddy’s Bar in Birkenhead in January.

He was fined £100 plus £100 costs.

Prosecutor Amanda Cullen claimed Totty at the time of his arrest was extremely agitated and abusive.


OBSCENE LANGUAGE: Refused entry to Slices Night Club at Birkenhead in the early hour, a 24-year-old man became aggressive and used obscene language towards staff, Wirral Magistrates were told.

Anthony Price, of Union Street, Birkenhead, admitted using threatening or abusive words and behaviour on January 24.

Prosecutor Amanda Cullen said Price was irate when eventually arrested and directed abuse towards the officers in the police vehicle.

Magistrates imposed a £100 fine plus £100 costs.


COSTLY TRIP TO BINGO: A trip to the bingo at Bromborough to drop off his wife proved unfortunate for a 53-year-old man.

James Skelton was stopped by police ands found to be over the legal alcohol limit.

Skelton, of Dawpool Drive, Bromborough, pleaded guilty to drink-driving in Welton Road, Bromborough, when he appeared before Wirral Magistrates. A blood test showed 106 milligrammes of alcohol.

Chris Williams, defending, said Skelton did not realise he was over the limit.

He was fearful he would lose his job as an oil worker because of difficulties in getting to Warrington for 6am.

Magistrates imposed a £250 fine plus £100 costs and Skelton was disqualified from driving for 12 months, which will be reduced by three months if he completes a course offered to him.


SLUMPED OVER WHEEL: Concerned members of the public contacted police when they saw a man slumped over the wheel of his car which had the engine running at 12.25am, Wirral Magistrates heard.

Police were able to rouse 44-year-old Derek Thomas Sime and a subsequent blood test showed he was more than three times over the legal alcohol driving limit.

Chris Williams for Sime said he pulled up because he was feeling unwell. He had taken some pain killers in addition to alcohol.

He very much regretted his action. He knew he should not have driven.

Sime pleaded guilty to drink-driving and was bailed for a probation report with a view to a community penalty. He was given an interim driving ban.


ARSON AND THEFT CHARGES: A food outlet manager faced Wirral Magistrates on arson and other charges.

Sean Anthony Bates, 27, of Reeds Avenue West, Leasowe, was sent to the Crown Court and bailed to appear before a judge on June 17.

Bates is charged with theft of £6,390 at KFC in Welton Road, Bromborough, in August last year, causing damage by fire to office furniture and computer equipment to the value of £3,000 at KFC, and attempting to pervert the course of justice by falsely claiming he had been the victim of a robbery.


STOLEN AMMO ALLEGATIONS: Stephen Thomas Burns, 40, of Woodchurch Road, Birkenhead, elected trial by jury when he appeared at Wirral Magistrates Court charged with theft of a quantity of live and blank ammunition and five magazines belonging to the Army Cadet Corps at Altcar in August last year.

He was bailed until April 12 for committal proceedings.

Burns was also charged with possession of 50 live rounds of .22 rifle ammunition when not having a firearms certificate.

He entered a guilty plea and will be sentenced later after the outcome of the first charge is decided.


NOT GUILTY PLEA: Wirral Magistrates bailed 26-year-old Adrian Taylor of Cavendish Road, Birkenhead, until April 8 for trial.

He entered a not guilty plea to an allegation of assault at Birkenhead in January.